Delena Aseere Britnell
What made you decide to become a coloring book artist?
It all started with my best friend of 30 years. She suggested that I create an adult coloring book. For whatever reason, I didn’t. The following month I was in Colorado and in one week EVERY DAY someone suggested that I turn my art into a coloring book. It was like each encounter turned a light bulb on in my head. By the end of the week, it was too bright to sleep! I feverishly began creating coloring pages. I met two wonderful owners of a little winery in Oregon and they enthusiastically opened their space for me to host coloring and wine parties. The parties brought people of all walks of life where we laughed, shared stories, and colored into the night. Coloring is an absolutely restorative addiction!
How do you create your art? Do you create your drawings by computer or do you prefer old school pencil and paper?
Oh man, are pencil and paper old school now!? Old school it is! I love creating with pencil/pen and paper. There is something almost ceremonial about getting my supplies out and ready for the day’s creations. Plus, I’m a bit obsessed with pens!
What is your inspiration for the different types of art that you create for your coloring books?
My inspiration comes from nature. My husband and I have been living a nomadic lifestyle for the past several years, so we get to see many different beautiful landscapes during our travels. I have always had a healthy imagination, so it’s very easy for me to get lost within whimsical landscapes and fields of flowers, hiding the silhouettes of mother nature into my work as I create.
Do you ever color your own work? And if so, what’s your favorite medium? Do you like pencils, markers or are you dipping into random reserves around the house for anything that can apply color in an interesting fashion?
I love to color! In fact, I’ve been creating my own coloring pages for many years. I just didn’t realize it until I purposefully began making coloring pages. I often draw in black ink and later color it in. I use a combination of watercolor pencils and pens. I love the soft delicate look that watercolor pencils give paired with the vibrancy of ink. Watercolor pencils are extremely forgiving and allow for happy ‘mistakes’.
How do you define success, and how do you measure it?
I choose to lead a unique life which is driven by experience rather than possessions. For me, success is not measured by money or material goods but by my happiness. Doing what I love. The first time I heard the saying ‘Do what you love, love what you do’ my life changed. I felt driven to succeed through my own passions.
Besides yourself, who is your favorite coloring book artist?
There are two artists that I really enjoy, Millie Morrotta and Pamela Smart. I find both artist’s coloring pages to be elegant and complex (which I love!). I read an article about how Pamela Smart began her career as a coloring book artist and instantly loved her vision and determination. I feel like everyday new and talented coloring book artists pop up. There are so many options!
What color or colors do you most love to work with?
It really depends on the subject matter. However, I am very drawn to blues and greens.
Outside of creating coloring books, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you love?
I love being outdoors: hiking, biking, kayaking…. Spending time in nature inspires and rejuvenates me to tackle the art projects that lurk in my mind. I do quite a bit of commission artwork and am typically trying to find that balance of outdoor time and studio time.
What are your plans for the next year? Do you have any new coloring book releases planned?
I have a pile of coloring pages that I’m hoping to turn into a book! I’ve been searching for a publisher to take me on. My main goal is to give others the opportunity to escape the chatter of everyday life and to step into the serenity of my coloring pages. I am so very grateful for outlets such as this magazine that brings together artists and colorists!
What are the titles of the last three books you have read or movies you’ve watched?
I just finished re-reading one of my favorite books, A Winter’s Tale (I have not seen the movie, but the book is truly exceptional). Currently I’m reading A Man Called Ove (a very touching story about a stubborn old man). I recently watched the movie Deadpool, which was suggested to me by my brother who is a huge fan, I found it entertaining, artistic, and creative.